The UAW kind of sucks, but it is still a union, and therefore inherently good. They started negotiations this week for new contracts with the Big Three, ahead of their current contracts’ expirations in September. It wants the usual things—more pay, better job security, better benefits, etc.—but it’s also bargaining at a time when everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop. That shoe would be a recession, and the downturn in car sales that would presumably go with it. The last time there was a recession it was the Great Recession, of course, and while in the years that followed record numbers of cars were sold once the economy recovered, car sales in more recent times have since been tapering off. And now most everyone expects the cycle to potentially return us to the bad times, thanks in part to Trump’s trade war. In terms of negotiating new union contracts, this adds a layer of uncertainty for both the UAW and the Big Three, with management likely to push for concessions—there’s a recession coming, you see, and it would be a shame if anyone got laid off because of a big bad union contract—and the union to push for the opposite, more worker protections and money—there’s a recession coming, you see, and we need worker protections more than ever. Add to that mix a new twist that The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday: the number of young unionized workers at Big Three plants, nearly half of whom have… [Read full story]
Jalopnik is a news and opinion website about cars, the automotive industry, racing, transportation, airplanes, technology, motorcycles and much more. We aim to cover these things with an honesty, transparency and cheerful belligerence that can’t be found anywhere else.